The peanut is probably one of the most popular snacks of today. Whether at work or at the movies – the little nut goes down well everywhere.
But the name is somewhat misleading. Thus, from a botanical point of view, peanuts do not belong to the nuts, but to the legumes. The fact that peanuts can be shelled directly after harvesting and then eaten raw has helped them get their name.
Originally, the peanut was called earth bean. In its country of origin, South America, this was a very important source of energy for the local inhabitants.
The oldest wild form of the peanut can be traced back to Peru. From there, the little “nut” conquered the world.
Even though peanuts are available for purchase all year round, late fall and winter are considered peak season. The pre-Christmas period in particular has been marked by St. Francis of Assisi. St. Nicholas established at the “peanut time”.
The peanut has made a name for itself as a calorie bomb – and rightly so. The content of fat in the peanut is very high, about 48g/100g. But this is no cause for concern, because the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids in the peanut is high.
Unsaturated fatty acids are also called “good fats” because they bring some health benefits. Among other things, they are said to have a protective function with regard to the development of coronary heart disease.
It has been shown in several studies that regular nut consumption can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It should be noted at this point, however, that many studies used a mix of nuts.
Nevertheless, peanuts have a healthy fatty acid profile, which inevitably offers health benefits.
At 7.5g/100g, peanuts do not provide a particularly high amount of carbohydrates. However, they are relatively good suppliers of dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber cannot be broken down enzymatically and therefore reaches the colon almost unchanged. Among other things, they are important for digestion and have a high satiating effect.
Athletes often don’t consume enough fiber, so a high-fiber snack can help increase their intake. Learn more tips on how to increase your fiber intake
The small peanut turns out to be a real protein bomb with about 30g protein/100g.
But not only the high protein content in itself makes peanut protein an optimal source of protein, also the amino acids contained play an important role.
Peanuts have a high content of arginine and glutamic acid. These amino acids are important for protein synthesis and are therefore often supplemented.
Arginine and glutmaic acid are semi-essential amino acids – this means that the body can only produce them itself to a limited extent. For this reason, it is advantageous to supply these amino acids through the diet.
Peanuts are a good source because they contain 3.4g of arginine and 5.6g of glutamic acid per 100g of peanuts.
In this way, supplementation can also be avoided.
Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body itself, which is why they must be supplied through the diet.
To optimize muscle building and recovery after exercise, try to supply all 8 essential amino acids. Basically, animal protein sources contain more essential amino acids than plant foods.
But peanuts also provide plenty of essential amino acids as a plant food. Because in addition to the semi-essential amino acids arginine and glutamic acid, peanuts also contain methionine and tryptophan.
These are two essential amino acids that are very rarely found in plant protein sources. This makes peanut protein especially interesting for vegetarians and/or vegans.
Another advantage of peanut protein is the numerous combination possibilities due to the pleasant taste of peanut.
The carbohydrate and protein intake, which is important for athletes, can be easily increased in this way. A typical example of a good combination is that of peanut protein and oatmeal. This gives a good ratio between carbohydrates and proteins.
Other possible combinations to enrich peanut protein with carbohydrates include: rice, quinoa, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Not only because of the high protein content, the peanut is an optimal snack for athletes. The micronutrients contained also leave nothing to be desired.
Especially potassium is found a lot in the peanut. This is relevant for athletes because high amounts of potassium are lost through sweat. However, it is important to avoid too much potassium loss, because potassium fulfills several important tasks.
Among other things, it is important for the regulation of the pH value and for maintaining the electrolyte and fluid balance.
Calcium and magnesium are also found in high amounts in the peanut. These two minerals are also lost in high amounts through sweat. They are also relevant to a number of important tasks.
Calcium, for example, is important for the regulation of energy metabolism and magnesium plays a role in muscle function, as well as in ATP formation (=energy production).
You can read more about minerals HERE read.
All in all, the good nutritional profile of the peanut makes it an excellent snack for athletes.
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